By MICHAEL RODRIGUEZ
Although a judge ruled against Eagle Pass ISD on Friday regarding the district’s filing of an application for injunction two days prior, which challenged the Lady ’Hounds’ victory over the Eagle Pass Lady Eagles on Saturday, May 11, Martinez expressed frustration over the ordeal.
“The judge ruled in our favor and now we’ve got O’Connor tonight, but this was also a big distraction… one that I hope we can overcome,” Martinez said in a telephone interview Friday afternoon; he was in Corpus Christi at the time, where his team was preparing for its regional semi-final game with the number two state-ranked San Antonio O’Connor Lady Panthers.
Martinez had previously expressed concern with Eagle Pass ISD’s legal maneuvering given the timing. Specifically, it wasn’t until after 3:30 p.m. on Friday when a judge made his ruling, less than five hours before the Lady ’Hounds were scheduled to take the softball diamond at Cabaniss Field in Corpus Christi. Prior to the ruling, Martinez believes the Lady ’Hounds were left with a sense of uncertainty rather than focus.
“This does take a toll, because you’ve got two different styles of teams and we don’t know who we’re going to play,” Martinez said Thursday.
In the application for injunction, Eagle Pass ISD sought the reversal of the Lady ’Hounds’ one-game playoff victory over the Eagle Pass Lady Eagles on Saturday, May 11, in favor of completing the original best-of-three format that had been abandoned.
Game 1 between San Benito and Eagle Pass, which was held in Laredo on Friday, May 10, was suspended until the following day due to lightning in the area. By that point, in the sixth inning, the Lady ’Hounds were up 2-0.
But before finishing the first matchup, both teams were informed of UIL rules stipulating that three games cannot be played in one day (Games 2 and 3, if needed, were also slated for that afternoon) and that a suspended playoff game must be completed the next day with the winner advancing. As a result, and much to the chagrin of the Eagle Pass contingent, the series reverted to a one-game playoff with the winner of the suspended Game 1 moving on to the regional semi-finals. San Benito then recorded six more outs and effectively put an end to Eagle Pass’ softball season – on the field, at least.
Eagle Pass coaches were not happy with the outcome, animosity which spawned action on Tuesday when the Eagle Pass ISD Board of Trustees unanimously approved of the authorization of its legal counsel to file the aforementioned application for injunction. Said approval garnered applause from those in attendance at the Eagle Pass ISD board meeting. In an interview with the Eagle Pass Business Journal, Lady Eagles Head Softball Coach Oscar Ruiz said of the board’s decision, “They believe the Lady Eagles have a fair chance of winning this game, and that’s all we ask for.”
When first informed of Eagle Pass’ attempts at scoring another shot at the Lady ’Hounds, Martinez said, “From a coaching standpoint, the indecision of going back to Laredo or going to Corpus you try not to let affect you, but it does. It has to somehow. It affects us but it also affects the fans, because which way are they going? This thing is affecting a lot of people. UIL is our governing body, and UIL made a decision. It’s black and white.”